Exhibiting Victorian Britain

Lesson rationale

A great deal of what we think we know about the past comes from the exhibitions and museums dedicated to telling the stories of past societies. Indeed, the Victorians themselves were very keen on exhibiting and the story of the Great Exhibition provides the perfect opportunity to explore how the Victorians wanted the world to see them. This activity could be a final activity to round off a unit of teaching on the Victorians and could be adapted for use at any level from Key Stage 2-5.

Key questions in this lesson:

  • How does an exhibition tell a story? How easy is it to decide what story should be told?
  • What story of Victorian Britain should be told?
  • How do the museums and exhibitions we visit affect our ideas of the past?